On the heels of our recent visit to ISTE, we’d like to discuss how schools can get ready for the new year that’s right around the corner with Google Apps for Education.
Google Apps is approaching ubiquity amongst K-12 schools, colleges and universities. The innovative collaboration platform has many features and tools that help students and teachers work with colleagues and enhance their productivity.
Secure collaboration is an important component of Google Apps, but users must be aware of the platform’s features and functionality in order to take full advantage of it.
Schools don’t know enough about risks associated with external apps
The collaboration platform offers educators and students access to thousands of apps within the Google Marketplace that can serve as teaching aids, educational games and tools. However, these apps can sometimes request extensive usage rights that unwary users can fall victim to. While malicious apps are unheard of in the Google Marketplace, it is not uncommon for a tool to email all of your contacts a promotional message if the service level agreement is not reviewed carefully.
To be able to take advantage of the benefits of Google Apps, schools must still be able to address student privacy and regulations like CIPA and FERPA. By extending their Google Apps information security practices with complementary cloud security solutions, schools are able to reap the benefits of the suite while keeping their sensitive data secure.
Security processes across different schools
What do you do if you catch a student accessing or sharing inappropriate content? If someone outside the school shares a document with the student, how can you make sure it’s safe?
Different schools take an array of approaches when it comes to dealing with security measures within Google Apps. When addressing these concerns, it is important to take a look at how other schools using Google Apps have dealt specifically with these issues and how they embrace security software that complements the security settings already in Google Apps for Education.
Some things to consider:
- Is there information being shared in Google Apps that will impact the safety and welfare of students?
- Are school employees keeping student personnel information safeguarded correctly?
- Are productivity tools being used appropriate for learning and classroom use?
With the adoption of cloud platforms like Google Apps growing at such an incredible rate, it’s critical for school administrators to enable secure collaboration by knowing what apps are being installed into the Google domain and what information is being shared and accessed.
It’s clear that secure content and app monitoring remain key priorities for teachers and administrators, particularly when it comes to students, or who they’re sharing information with.